July 15, 2024

FFA members learn teamwork at Ground Zero

FFA Corner

The month of January saw Illinois FFA’s major state officers get right back into the swing of things. January kicked off with the officers spending a week at the Illinois FFA Center in Springfield.

On Friday, Jan. 5, Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers and FFA had a joint board meeting. The second week of January was another spent in the office prepping for Illinois FFA’s Convention.

The following Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the officers assisted in the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant.

Officers were responsible for helping contestants on and off the stage and President Thaddeus Bergschneider gave remarks.

The following week, the officers met with Illinois Farmers Union and had a Youth Education in Agriculture committee meeting with Illinois 4-H and Illinois Farm Bureau affiliates.

On Jan. 19, Illinois FFA Alumni and supporters held their annual meeting and auction. The conference saw alumni members from all over the state congregate at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield.

The meeting creates opportunities for current FFA members and provides connections for FFA alumni and supporters. Friday evening was filled with fellowship, food, fundraising and a whole lot of fun.

We kicked off the evening with an awards dinner. At the dinner, we recognized Tammy Padget from the Mt. Vernon FFA Alumni chapter as an outstanding member.

Following the outstanding member presentation, Bushnell Prairie City, Mt. Vernon and Macomb alumni chapters were named the gold, silver and bronze outstanding chapters, respectively, for this year.

On the following Monday, Jan. 22, Illinois FFA hosted its first Ground Zero conference of the year. The first Ground Zero was held at the Northfield Inn, Suites and Conference Center in Springfield.

Ground Zero is a conference for freshman and sophomore FFA members where they can learn how to work as a team and problem solve.

Illinois FFA had a total of five Ground Zero conferences this year with over 1,300 FFA members attending.

The next Ground Zero Conference was hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale Jan. 26-27.

The one-day Ground Zero events were hosted by Joliet Junior College and Western Illinois University on Jan. 31 and the final conference returned to the Northfield Inn on Feb. 1 and 2.

Looking ahead, Illinois FFA looks forward to National FFA Week Feb. 17-24 and interviews for State and American FFA Degree candidates.

FFA Week will see the major state officers traveling all over the state celebrating FFA and how far the organization has come.

Cooper Nelson from the Canton FFA Chapter is the 2023-2024 Illinois Association FFA state reporter.